Black Tornado cools Roseburg's bats

Black Tornado cools Roseburg's bats

A change in routine didn't equate into a change in performance for North Medford pitchers Matt Maurer and Andrew Jones on Saturday afternoon.

Facing a Roseburg team picked to challenge the Black Tornado for the Southwest Conference baseball crown, Maurer and Jones limited the Indians to a combined nine hits in the doubleheader and were each backed by tremendous defensive support from their teammates.

Maurer, who is usually a Game 2 starter on Saturdays, struck out 11 and allowed three hits in an 8-0 opening-game win.

Jones, who typically starts the first game of twin bills, allowed six hits with four strikeouts in a 4-1 victory in the nightcap under increasingly chilly and windy conditions at North Medford High.

"Great pitching beats great hitting any day," said North Medford coach Brett Wolfe, whose team remained undefeated at 16-0 overall and 6-0 in SWC play. "Both games we set the tone with our pitching, and that allowed us to get our bats going and make some moves and push across some runs."

The switch in schedule became necessary when North Medford Athletic Director Tim Sam told Wolfe that Jones would have to sit out one more game after the senior right-hander was ejected from last Tuesday's game against South Medford.

Jones had already served his mandatory one-game suspension per OSAA rules when he sat out North's nonconference game against Henley on Thursday, but Wolfe was instructed by Sam that a second game without Jones' services would be required.

Despite facing their biggest doubleheader of the season thus far, the pitchers had only minor trouble switching roles on Saturday against Roseburg (9-4, 4-2 SWC).

"My routine was a little different," said Jones, who improved to 6-0. "It really felt weird sitting in the dugout (for Game 1). I didn't know where to stand for the national anthem or anything, so I was kinda lost all day. But apparently I do OK in the second game, too, so that's good."

Jones faced a maximum of five batters in two of his seven innings on the mound and went through a minimum of three in four innings. The first-team all-state pitcher was also aided by three double plays turned by second baseman Chris Bradshaw, shortstop Zack Earle and first baseman Kody Stevens.

"It's a great thing pitching for this team," said Jones. "As soon as the ball's hit, I know somebody's going to run it down or somebody's going to lay out and make a play. There were several situations where we got a double play that, if my middle infielders weren't able to get that, they would've probably made it a lot closer ballgame."

Those "would've" and "could've" moments were the keys to Saturday's sweep — the first for North Medford over Roseburg since 2003.

"Certainly their pitching was better than our hitting today," said Roseburg coach Troy Thompson. "That's not uncommon. They're a very good ballclub and they showed why today."

"The bottom line is, we have to be able to score more than one run in a doubleheader to be competitive against anybody," added the sixth-year coach, "but especially against a team like North."

A one-out single by Hayden Wolfe and double by Jordan Bostwick set the table for North's first run in Game 2, with Wolfe scoring from third on a passed ball. Bostwick advanced on the play and scored with two outs when Stevens slipped an RBI double past a diving Josh Davis in center field.

"He had a good slider but he was just leaving it up there early," Stevens said of Roseburg starter Matt Thomson. "We've got a good team, and we're all hitting the ball hard right now."

Those crisp cuts early didn't seem to faze the sophomore, however, as he only had one more rough inning before exiting in the sixth with four strikeouts and nine hits allowed.

"I thought he pitched well enough to win," Thompson said of the young right-hander. "Unfortunately, Jones threw very well, too."

North tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth when Wolfe singled up the middle and moved to second on a passed ball. After two outs, Stevens was hit by a pitch and then Colin Sowers laced an RBI single up the middle. Blake Mitchell followed with another RBI single before Thomson could finally halt the two-out rally.

Roseburg's lone run of the day came in the seventh when A.J. Royal blasted a one-out double, advanced to third on a single by Davis and scored when third baseman Mark Cokenour's throw on a grounder by Brandon Jackson went wide of second base on a double-play effort.

"This was huge; Roseburg is a good team," Stevens said of the sweep. "They're young and they're very good, we just capitalized where they couldn't."

In Game 1, Maurer came up with several big pitches to work himself out of jams and was supported by solid offensive efforts by Stevens, Mitchell and Steven Cole to get North off on the right foot.

Maurer struck out Roseburg's Derek Priestley on three pitches with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and seventh innings for the third out in each frame. The sophomore left-hander struck out Priestley four times overall.

In 302/3 innings, Maurer has not allowed an earned run and has struck out 49 with 15 walks.

Stevens was 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI in Game 1, while Mitchell was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Cole 2-for-4 with one RBI.

It was the first start, first hit and first RBI for Cole, who was thrust into the lineup as designated hitter to help make up for Jones' absence.


Roseburg 000 000 0 — 0 3 2

North Medford 021 302 x — 8 11 1

Cavens, Ampi (5) and Guthrie; Maurer and Sowers. W — Maurer (5-0). L — Cavens (2-2). 2B — R: Jackson; NM: Stevens.


Roseburg 000 000 1 — 1 6 0

North Medford 200 020 x — 4 9 1

Thomson, Poitner (6) and Guthrie; Jones and Sowers. W —Jones (6-0). L — Thomson (3-1). 2B — R: Royal; NM: Bostwick, Stevens.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail

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